The Disruption of 1843, when 450 ministers of the Church of Scotland broke away to form the Free Church, shook Scottish society to its core, with rival churches being built in communities up and down the land.
One was in Dornoch which opened its doors a year later. But renovation work recently undertaken has revealed evidence that one of the first to enter the church was a cat which seems to have remained there ever since underneath the floorboards.
The moggy was uncovered a few feet in front of the old pulpit by a Glasgow minister helping with the renovation work in Dornoch Free Church during his holidays. Treasurer Mark Robinson said: "Little did we expect him to find a fully mummified cat literally yards in front of the pulpit."
The building was built in 1844, so experts believe the cat could date back to the Disruption. The building is undergoing a £400,000 renovation.